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He Just Disappeared

May 25, 2009

Each Memorial Day I get a bit teary for a moment as I trip over a few long forgotten faces – faces that were here one day and then gone forever.

Garrison Keillor penned a song for his Wolf Trap Memorial Day edition of Prairie Home Companion a few years ago called “He Just Disappeared.”

If you haven’t heard it, click on the link up there, read the whole of the lyrics and listen to an astonishingly simple and touching tribute to the real kids who aren’t with us today. You see, Memorial Day isn’t about old guys marching in parades. It’s about kids who never got be become old guys. It’s about the incomprehensible reality of what human beings do to each other in the name of “isms.” Memorial Day requires that we take just a few minutes to remember and then go ahead and celebrate what we have because of those young people who aren’t at the picnic table with us.

Keillor’s “Pat” was just a fella from down the block.

“He was a rebel and loved rock and roll
He had music and poetry deep in his soul
He meant to return from the end of the world
And sit up at night with his arms round a girl”

Probably just like someone you knew.

Enjoy Memorial Day – and have a beer and a burger for all the Pats and Patricias.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Riin Rio permalink
    June 17, 2009 10:45 am

    Much more powerful than the “stirring ” martial airs that try to make a life time of loss for the family, the block, the neighborhood somehow glorious. Thanks for the post.

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